EVERY THURSDAY, here you’ll find a short list of three little birds singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true — a mini-comp covering the best new music, music videos, albums, underappreciated songs, and so on. These might be big-time artists with big, new hits, small-time musicians we stumbled across on social media, or even iconic musicians from the past whose songs may help us better understand today.This Thursday’s Three Little Birds are Lizzo (“Jerome”), Billie Eilish (WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?), and Rockwell Knuckles (“Play Catch”).

If you’d like to share other new or underappreciated songs, head to the “Three Little Birds” forum in the AVIARY (link here). Otherwise, enjoy!

“Jerome” by Lizzo

Lizzo’s soul-rap Cuz I Love You album finally dropped on April 19, and it’s purdy good. Seemingly destined to be pigeon-holed solely as a “body positive,” Meghan Trainor-ish musician — which… okay, fine — Lizzo breaks out of that hole with a powerful, soulful voice that at times delivers on the singer’s promise to be “ARETHRA FRANKLIN FOR THE 2018 GENERATION.” In particular, the songs “Cuz I Love You” and “Jerome” demonstrate her potential as a truly stand-out singer.

Her rise from a highly active underground sensation to a rising pop star has been fun to follow, and though her latest album isn’t perfect, her trajectory looks promising.

Lyrics

Woo, oh
Here we go again
Uh-uh, hee-hee
Uh, look, listen, shut upJerome, Jerome
Take your ass home
And come back when you’re grown
Jerome, Jerome
Go on, take your ass home
Where the peaches have thorns, ooh

Poor little baby
Who told you that you stood a chance with this royalty?
You’re so sweet, bless your heart
Can’t let a pretty face distract me from business
And God as my witness, your ugly ass won’t either
I’m sorry, 2 AM photos with smileys and hearts
Ain’t the way to my juicy parts
Boy, thank me later, looks good on paper
But love isn’t easy, so I’ll do the hardest part

Jerome, Jerome
Go on, take your ass home
And come back when you’re grown
Jerome, ooh, Jerome
Go on, take your ass home
Where the peaches have thorns

I never said I was perfect
Or you don’t deserve a good person to carry your baggage
I know a few girls that can handle it
I ain’t that kind of chick, but I can call ’em for you if you want
I never said that you wasn’t attractive
Your style and that beard, ooh, don’t get me distracted
I’m tryna be patient, and patience takes practice
The fact is I’m leaving, so just let me have this

Jerome, Jerome
Take your ass home
And come back when you’re grown, oh
Jerome, ooh, Jerome
Go on, take your ass home
Where the peaches have thorns

Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee
(Don’t cry for me, baby)
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee
(Oh, don’t cry for me, baby)
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee

***

WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by Billie Eilish

Industry plant or not*, Billie Eilish is incredible, and her comic horror album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? is a much-needed game-changer to a pop music industry oversaturated with anemic Everything is Awesome! bullshit. Released nearly a month ago, the album isn’t necessarily brand new; although interest in Billie’s music seems to have exponentially increased over the month, recently reaching the tipping point where hipsters have to decide whether it’s more hip to like the album or to pretend to not like it. Regardless, Billie’s variety of creepy, girly pop to Tim Burtonish kid-horror to ambient acoustic jams makes this one of the more interesting albums of late.

[*EDITOR’S NOTE: The “industry plant” conspiracy should really only piss us off if Billie rose to stardom with shitty, talentless music. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. Plus, the 17-year old’s possibly criminal, taboo-breaking sexuality is far too sinister and depraved to dismiss as simply “edgy.” Altogether, it’s a comically dark and artistically well-composed album, the likes of which I haven’t heard since Nine Inch Nail’s The Downard Spiral — and if this is the result of behind-the-scenes industry planting, then who gives a fuck? Plant away.]

Lyrics

White shirt now red, my bloody nose
Sleepin’, you’re on your tippy toes
Creepin’ around like no one knows
Think you’re so criminal
Bruises on both my knees for you
Don’t say thank you or please
I do what I want when I’m wanting to
My soul? So cynical

So you’re a tough guy
Like it really rough guy
Just can’t get enough guy
Chest always so puffed guy
I’m that bad type
Make your mama sad type
Make your girlfriend mad tight
Might seduce your dad type
I’m the bad guy
Duh

I’m the bad guy

I like it when you take control
Even if you know that you don’t
Own me, I’ll let you play the role
I’ll be your animal
My mommy likes to sing along with me
But she won’t sing this song
If she reads all the lyrics
She’ll pity the men I know

So you’re a tough guy
Like it really rough guy
Just can’t get enough guy
Chest always so puffed guy
I’m that bad type
Make your mama sad type
Make your girlfriend mad tight
Might seduce your dad type
I’m the bad guy
Duh

I’m the bad guy, duh
I’m only good at bein’ bad, bad

I like when you get mad
I guess I’m pretty glad that you’re alone
You said she’s scared of me?
I mean, I don’t see what she sees
But maybe it’s ’cause I’m wearing your cologne

I’m a bad guy
I’m a bad guy
Bad guy, bad guy
I’m a bad

***

“Play Catch” by Rockwell Knuckles

From Rockwell Knuckles’ third mixtape You’re Fucking Out I’m Fucking In, released March 2011, “Play Catch” is one of the most underappreciated songs of the 2010’s. The most recognition the song received was on the soundtrack for 2011’s ski movie One For the Road, which won Best Soundtrack at the International Freeski Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec.

Obscure awards aside, the song is unique to the rap genre, covering increasingly universal themes of isolation and loneliness and agoraphobia, essentially the fear of leaving home and subjecting yourself to the psychological stresses of “putting yourself out there.” It’s the song of our internet age, when computerized pseudo-communities supplant the real thing.

“Play Catch” = Lose your strings, Pinocchio.

Lyrics

Something I cannot believe. Nigga, please listen

That my shows put most in disbelief. Baby, please listen

You know we start it then we finish up
Soon as I pop my eyes open I’m focused on the spinach
See the closest people to me keep my level at a medium
Been knowing them so long I do not remember meeting them
We back on our feet again, They say, “What they see in him
Rocky’s getting gassed up, head is full of helium”
Want to see me crashed up, laying on the median
I have got this mastered, you are all off-beat again

We’re talkin’ bout the clones, who are scared to roam
From home, cause home is all they’ve ever really known
And they feel so alone
Until they find more clones, who are scared to roam
From home, cause home is all they’ve ever really known
They grow strong, when they feel like they belong

They say he’s catching bullets with his teeth. Nigga, please listen
You’re living a lie, living a lie
Yes my show puts most in disbelief. Baby, please listen
That we can’t deny, we can’t deny

You know we finish how we’ve started;
The crowd is in control and our enemies broken hearted
See the unpopular people; all lead on by the media?
Slide a couple lies into the truth like Wikipedia
Some do not believe in us. More reason to heat it up
Might as well join in, cause you’re not defeating us
Minds of the shallow, baby
You do not get deep enough
Perpetrating fraud
Tell me how long you gonna keep it up
Listen to me

You don’t understand what I am on
Past Pluto and I’m gone baby
You’re living a lie, living a lie
My master plan. All of the answers, don’t ask me
I don’t understand, baby. That we can’t deny, we can’t deny
You don’t understand what I am on
You’re living a lie, living a lie
It’s my master plan
We can’t deny, we can’t deny